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A '''banyan''', also spelled "'''banian'''", is a Ficus|fig that begins its life as an epiphyte, i. e. a plant that grows on another plant, when its seed germinates in a crack or crevice of a host tree or human edifice. "Banyan" often specifically denominates ''Ficus benghalensis'' (the "Indian banyan"), which is the national tree of the Republic of India, though the name also has been generalized to denominate all figs that share a common life cycle and used systematics|systematically in Taxonomy (biology)|taxonomy to denominate the subgenus '''''Urostigma'''''.Note the use of "Banyan" versus "banyan" in ; also Like other fig species, including the common edible fig ''Common fig|Ficus carica'', banyans bear multiple fruit in structures denominated "syncarps. The syncarp of ''Ficus'' species supplies shelter and food for fig wasps and, in turn, the...
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